The Year in Review: 2011

December 29, 2011 by

Updated 12/31 CENTRAL NEW YORK -- While most media outlets use this week to look back at all the general news from 2011, we're using these last few days of the year to look back at all the news from within those media outlets.  On New Year's Eve, we'll countdown our "top 10" stories based on our server stats.  But first, our annual month-by-month "debriefing" of the most notable stories we covered in 2011.





  • 1st: The NYS Broadcasters Association announces longtime NewsChannel 9 anchors Rod Wood and Carrie Lazarus will be inducted to its Hall of Fame later this year.
  • 3rd: is among the winners for this year's Syracuse Press Club awards, with Second Place in the Internet Public Service category.
  • 4th: Sound of Jazz host Leo Rayhill celebrates 50 years in local radio.
  • 4th: YNN senior reporter Bill Carey wins a Regional Emmy Award for his documentary reviewing a mass shooting in Binghamton.
  • 7th: Yankees fans are upset to learn WSYR radio will not carry the team's weekday afternoon games this season.
  • 9th: After two weeks off-air due to a transmitter failure, Cazenovia College's WITC returns to the airwaves -- thanks to a spare on-loan from WHWS at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.
  • 20th: Syndicated "Oldies Radio" PD and midday host Dave Michaels dies at 60.  He and his Dallas-based programming were formerly carried on Utica's WODZ.
  • 21st: With Matthew Benedict up for parole in early 2012, former Syracuse broadcaster Maria Leaf launches an online petition to keep Benedict behind bars.  He killed Leaf's brother Bill, also a broadcaster, in 2006.  Benedict was driving drunk the wrong way on Interstate 81.
  • 22nd: Kudos to WCNY-TV, the only local station to win a 2011 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
  • 22nd: The Score 1260 (WSKO) names Mike Lindsley to host middays, filling a vacancy left by Danny Parkins.
  • 25th: Former WOLF personality Don Lancer dies at 68.  After Syracuse, Lancer worked at Philadelphia's KYW for nearly 40 years.
  • 29th: Gary Nolan says he's leaving 105.9 The Big Talker (WXTL) to return to his former station in Missouri, to launch a nationally-syndicated show (which we're still waiting to hear anything about).
  • 29th: Call it a career for longtime Utica radio host Hank Brown, whose morning show on 95.5 WUTQ is displaced by programming changes.  Brown reportedly declined WUTQ's offer for a different timeslot.
  • 29th: Citadel Syracuse rocker 95X (WAQX) promotes "Big Smoothie" to afternoons and night guy "Joe D" to assistant PD.
  • 30th: The local Associated Press award winners are named, and Oswego's WRVO is the only radio station in our coverage area on the list, with 16 wins in total.  TV awards are doled out among several local stations.









Coming Saturday: The Top 10 Stories of 2011

On the final day of the year, we'll tally up our site traffic stats to find out which stories on and were the biggest stories of 2011.  Our top 10 countdown will appear at noon on Saturday.  But first..

Coming Tomorrow: YOUR Picks on 2011's Biggest Stories

We know "the numbers" don't always necessarily reflect what we, as a community, might deem to be the most important stories in our hearts and minds.  This year, we're trying out something new: earlier this month, we gave an open invitation for you to share YOUR picks on the year's biggest stories.  So, before we total up all the web traffic stats, we'll take a subjective look the year.  Look for that article, powered by your opinions, tomorrow at noon.

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